Short Communication

World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 28, Issue 11, pp 3239-3244

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Yeasts preservation: alternatives for lyophilisation

  • Loveness K. NyangaAffiliated withInstitute of Food, Nutrition and Family Sciences, University of ZimbabweLaboratory of Food Microbiology, Wageningen University
  • , Martinus J. R. NoutAffiliated withLaboratory of Food Microbiology, Wageningen University
  • , Eddy J. SmidAffiliated withLaboratory of Food Microbiology, Wageningen University Email author 
  • , Teun BoekhoutAffiliated withCBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Centre
  • , Marcel H. ZwieteringAffiliated withLaboratory of Food Microbiology, Wageningen University


The aim of the study was to compare the effect of two low-cost, low technology traditional methods for drying starter cultures with standard lyophilisation. Lyophilised yeast cultures and yeast cultures preserved in dry rice cakes and dry plant fibre strands were examined for viable cell counts during 6 months storage at 4 and 25 °C. None of the yeast cultures showed a significant loss in viable cell count during 6 months of storage at 4 °C upon lyophilisation and preservation in dry rice cakes. During storage at 25 °C in the dark, yeast cultures preserved in dry rice cakes, and lyophilised cultures of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Issatchenkia orientalis showed no significant loss of viable cells up to 4 months of storage. Yeast cultures preserved in dry plant fibre strands had the greatest loss of viable count during the 6 months of storage at 25 °C. Preservation of yeasts cultures in dry rice cakes provided better survival during storage at 4 °C than lyophilisation. The current study demonstrated that traditional methods can be useful and effective for starter culture preservation in small-scale, low-tech applications.


Yeasts preservation Starter culture Lyophilisation Rice cake Plant fibre